Intuit Inc. is expected to launch today its on-line banking service for which more than 20 major banks and financial service companies already have ordered.

The announcement is part of the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company's unveiling of Quicken for 96, the latest version of its market-leading personal finance software.

The new service will enable customers of participating banks to use Quicken to conduct a wide range of on-line transactions using a PC. The service provides for funds transfers, account reconciliations, bill payments, and is expected to eventually provide a comprehensive set of investment, mortgages, and trust services.

"Just giving you a balance or telling you a check's been paid is nice...but banking today is more than a few basic transactions," said John McGuire, an executive vice president of marketing for SunTrust Banks Inc., which plans to roll out Quicken's on-line program next month.

Mr. McGuire said he is eager to see the on-line offering incorporate personal investments, trusts, loans and mortgages, and hopes these capabilities will be available by next year.

Several banks said they plan to introduce the on-line service on or around Oct. 26, the new software release date. Users of the service will include American Express Corp., Citicorp, Chemical Banking Corp., Chase Manhattan Corp., First Interstate Bancorp, First Chicago Corp., and Wells Fargo & Co.

The new versions of Quicken software have been upgraded to make use of an on-line link. The '96 version features improved financial planning and analysis designed to take advantage of the wide range of data consumers will be able to download onto their systems. Previously, users of Quicken had to enter data manually.

In addition, both Quicken and Quicken Deluxe will include a multimedia bulletin board that will display promotions and general information from Intuit's financial institution partners.

"Together, these services and features will turn the common PC into a powerful and personalized financial tool for individuals and small businesses," said Scott Cook, Intuit's founder and chairman.

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